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Are you in your junior or senior year, and still want to try to travel abroad before you graduate? Then consider this opportunity (because it might be free!). When I was searching for potential scholarships the other day, one of them caught my eye because it was about studying abroad for a year in one of five different countries for a truly unique experience in travelling.

The International Reciprocal Student Exchange Program (IRSEP) is offering a full scholarship to non-traditional travel abroad sites. The IRSEP was founded by students in 1952, making it the University of Minnesota’s oldest exchange program. It’s one of the many programs and scholarships the University offers, except it takes you to really interesting, uncommon places for travel. The five different options are Quito, Ecuador; Tianjin, China; Penang, Malaysia; Berlin, Germany; and finally, Reykjavik, Iceland. They all sound like really cool places, so I know I would have trouble choosing!

Participating students would serve as an ambassador for the program, before and after their travels. To apply, junior or senior status is required. The Learning Abroad Center has more information regarding the scholarship and its destinations.

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According to Google, it’s a popular question. When I typed, “Is studying” into Google “abroad worth it?” popped up in the suggested search bar. After utilizing advanced logic that I picked up in college, I’ve deduced that millions of students must be asking Google (and themselves) the same question. According to almost every website out there, the answer to this query is YES. According to every person I’ve ever spoken to that has studied abroad, the answer is YES.

So why do students need so much assurance? I once again must refer to my favorite search engine for an answer. The third suggestion Google offered when I typed in “Is studying” was “is studying abroad expensive?” (FYI the second was “ is studying too much bad?”). Cost deserves a place in the study abroad discussion—you don’t want to come back to the States in a job-strained economy with a ton of debt hanging over your head. However, you should know that well-advertised programs like Arcadia are up there when it comes to cost. If you do your research well, you’ll find that going abroad on a budget is possible. For example, the University of Malta has an exchange program with a tuition cost that is comparable to that of many public universities.  So get going guys! Start researching programs you can afford, after all, studying too much (for scholarships for study abroad students) is NOT bad.